tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 31, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PDT
fire retardant right over the top of your position. the most shared moment from this horrible day was the horse being led to safety, reported to have then bolted and returned to the compound to get the other horses out. tonight power is out to over a million californians, some of them under a mandatory blackout not affected by the fires. thousands are on the run. over 200 structures are now gone. by now it's apparent to just about everyone that this is not sustainable. the westward expansion that brought americans to that to th beautiful state was all about the american dream in all the places where today was a nightmare. solutions will be difficult and expensive. they require commitment and consensus in a country that doesn't seem to do the big things anymore. it's also true that california has led the way for years on its own, something to think about as we thank you for joining us here tonight. good night from our nbc news headquarters here in new york.
tonight on "all in." >> this will be only the fourth time in our nation's history that congress has considered the presidential impeachment process. >> a public impeachment process begins. >> no one runs for congress to impeach a president, but we are here today because the facts compel us to be. >> tonight democrats take the first public steps in the impeachment inquiry as more witnesses testify in private. >> are you concerned about white house retaliation? >> and john bolton is formally asked to testify. >> you know, john wasn't in line with what we were doing. >> plus new reporting on the origins of trump's quid pro quo with ukraine, and why even republicans are raising alarms at the trump scheme to install an anti-immigrant hardliner at dhs. >> you and mr. trump don't want anyone who looks or talks differently than caucasian americans to be allowed into this country. >> that's false. >> i'm sorry, please don't interrupt me. >> when "all in" starts now. >> i am not a white supremacist,
as you alluded. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the impeachment of president donald j. trump is taking another major step forward today. the house rules committee is preparing to vote on a resolution laying out the procedures for the next big steps in the inquiry including public hearings. they are literally convening right now to do that as we speak. the full house is then expected to vote on the resolution tomorrow. legislators have already heard dozens of hours of private testimony that continues to be more and more damning for the president. we already know from president trump's own words and phone call notes released from the white house the president corruptly attempted to coerce an occupied foreign country to manufacture dirt on an american citizen, indeed his possible political opponent. when the ukrainian president said he was ready to buy more american weapons, that is send the aid, we're standing by, president trump immediately responded, i would like you to do us a favor, though. though. the bad news for trump is that
the phone call itself is incriminating, but also the phone call provides one small glimpse into a sprawling covert effort. and there are two things that are true about all the people around trump who have watched this happen. one group is attempting to cover it all up because at some level they seem to know this was an abuse of power and possibly illegal. and the other group who are not the president's cronies recognized at the time this was an abuse of power, possibly illegal, and have been and were sounding every alarm bell possible. today state department officials christopher anderson and catherine croft appeared before the house committees. he testified for nearly 4 hours this afternoon. in his opening statement anderson said when he pushed for increased white house support for the new ukrainian president former national security advisor john bolton warned that rudy giuliani, quote, was a key voice for the president of ukraine which could be an obstacle to increased white house engagement.
catherine croft then took over for anderson in july after spending two years as a director. she testified for nearly five hours this morning. she described her earliest experience as a push to remove the ambassador of ukraine, quote, during my time i received multiple calls from lobbyist robert livingston who told me that ambassador yovanovitch should be fired. it was not clear to me at the time or now at whose direction or whose expense mr. livingston was seeking the removal of ambassador yovanovitch. i documented these calls and told my boss. it's probably worth noting here lobbyist robert livingston is one and the same as the former bill clinton president-elect who had to leave because he admitted to affairs and then resigned. that robert livingston. today we learned the president's last national security adviser. the infamous notorious to john bolton has been invited to testify before the investigating house committees next friday, november 7th.
now, remember, several witnesses have already testified that bolton was concerned about trump's ukraine pressure campaign. he told multiple witnesses to contact nsc lawyers, referred to the whole scheme perfectly as quote, a drug deal. every day the scope of this entire thing and those who knew about it keeps getting bigger including the number two guy at the state department, john sullivan. today mr. sullivan had the misfortune of going before the senate foreign relations committee where he is seeking to be confirmed as the next u.s. ambassador to russia. senator bob menendez, as you might imagine, had some questions. >> do you think it's ever appropriate for the president to use his office to solicit investigations into a domestic political opponent? >> soliciting investigations into a domestic political opponent, i don't think that would be in accord with our values. >> you were aware that there were individuals and forces outside the state department seeking to smear ambassador yovanovitch, is that correct?
>> i was. >> and seeking to remove her? and did you know mr. giuliani was one of those people? >> i believe he was, yes. >> well, that's something. i don't think anybody was expecting that secretary of state mike pompeo's second in command to go as far as he did, condemning trump's pressure campaign, throwing rudy giuliani under the bus. although some admitted he knew what was happening and did nothing. and that guy is likely to be the next ambassador to russia, the country that is, of course, occupying a large chunk of ukraine and he apparently took no action. now, president trump wants to pivot away from complaining about the process of democrats impeachment investigation. ee sent a distress signal this morning imploring, quote, republicans, yes, he did spell it that way, go with substances and close it out. the problem for trump is that substance is the bad part. we know the transcript was damning. last night after we got off air "new york times" reported lieutenant colonel alexander vindman testified yesterday.
the white house transcript of a july call between president trump omitted crucial words and phrases and that his attempts to include them failed. you'll remember trump said and says that the call was perfect and said it was a word for word transcript, but that's not true. and if was true why did the white house try to hide the call by inappropriately putting it in a super classified server? it release this incomplete version and prevent lieutenant colonel vindman from including the information he found point. and joining me now ambassador nan nancy soderberg. she worked in the clinton administration. ambassador, let me start with you as someone who was on the national security council and also served as the ambassador u.n. security council. what do you make of these sort of two groups of people that have emerged here, the sort of president's cronies and
flunkies, the three amigos pursuing the shadow foreign policy of rudy giuliani, and the amazing stream of people coming forward at risk of their jobs still employed in the government to basically say this was wrong? >> well, i think we have to pay tribute to the courageous public servants who are standing up at great personal risk to tell the truth. i worked in government for decades. i never had any clue what the political servants of the career foreign service officer, their career servants telling truth to power and deserve our strong support and applause. what's happening around the president is an effort to deflect, dissuade, create distractions here. what they need to do is stop deflecting and, frankly, start planning a defense, and i think that's what's going to happen once this impeachment program begins officially, really, next -- tomorrow. >> yeah, the planning and defense, ian, strikes me -- the president who sort of led the charge in all of them whining about the process now telling
them enough of the process. talk about the substance. again, the substance is bad and there seems a disconnect between how the president understands what he did and all those working around him to cover it up, keep it secret, hide it which itself shows a consciousness of guilt. >> the president tried to offer a bribe to a foreign leader. your colleague ari melber's talked about this. the founders in the constitution detailed two specific grounds for impeachment in addition to the catch-all high crimes and misdemeanor, and those are treason and bribery. bribery at the time of the founding was offering a thing of value, say military aid or a white house visit, in an attempt to induce a government official to engage in a corrupt act. that's what president trump did. he induced a bribe. it's going to be pretty hard to defend. >> i continue to be astounded, nancy, but how wide the whole
kind of operation was. the amount of people it touched. the amount of people it had to go through as they were running this kind of shadow campaign. >> well, it's stunning and what they've done is essentially take the russian mob boss led by this guy who is on house arrest in vienna, furtas, and he has hired his goons and giuliani's gotten into the circle that want to get back into the corrupt trough in ukraine. that's who is behind this conspiracy theory. they got rick perry unknowingly as part of this. i don't think he knew what was going on. all of this is going to become public. what you're seeing is a very methodical building of the case that the president withheld ukrainian military that he rightly increased, by the way, in order to dig up dirt on his opponent and try to deflect from the fact that everyone agrees the russians did interfere in our campaign. it is not going to work. and what's going to happen is
career public servant who all run the government -- when i was in government as a political appointee, i was thankful for them because they're patriotic, they're good, they know how things work, you need to rely on them, you can't cut them out. now, tomorrow you're going to have a national security official, tim morrison, who is a bolton appointee, a very hardline republican career in the congress who just quit tonight because he's going to be -- >> yeah. >> -- testifying tomorrow. there is no way that these supporters of the president can offend his patriotism. he's not a partisan hack. and i think one of the things that everyone needs to call out is the fact that the president's supporters are impugning the patriotism of these fine hardworking american patriots and that's un-american and we all need to call them out and stop that. >> yeah, the president, his defenders have sort of engineered a neat bit of circular logic in which democrats who attack the president are partisan and republicans who attack the
president -- >> frankly, liz cheney to her credit has stood up and called them to task for that. i applaud her for doing that. we need more republicans standing up and saying do not impugn these career public patriotic servants. >> ian, one of the arguments i've seen on the table that people have begun to make is that the president gets to set his foreign policy. it's not the place for career diplomats, foreign service, civil service to set the president's priorities. basically it amounts to if you're president, they let you do it. someone who worked as a lawyer for president barack obama in the white house counsel's office, what do you say to that? >> well, look, obviously the president under our constitution gets to set the foreign policy of the united states, but that has to be in service of the american interests and the public interest. the problem is from congress to the executive branch from democrats to republicans, there is broad agreement the american interest is in a noncorrupt pro-democratic western-aligned
ukraine, not a corrupt russian-controlled ukraine. the only person who is pushing against that right now is donald trump. if he were doing that for some legitimate public interest, he'd have the right to do that, but if he's doing it for a corrupt interest, if he's doing it to help his political campaign or his personal interests, that's not legitimate. now, trump says i'm doing it for legit interest. i'm doing it to fight corruption. come on. donald trump cares as much about stopping corruption in ukraine as marlboro stops about stopping cancer. that doesn't pass the laugh test. it is not a legitimate interest. it's a corrupt one. >> there is something that ambassador soderberg -- the way we phrased it. we talked about essentially meddling into an election, manufacturing dirt on a political opponent. but vindland put it as opening an investigation into an american citizen. it wasn't in vindland's terms about meddling in the election, it was just that it's improper to have a foreign government set its sights on an american citizen. an american citizen committed
some infraction, that's a matter for american law enforcement, but of course there is no predicate for investigation. what do you think about that framing? >> well, i think, first of all, vindman was an incredible -- incredibly credible individual who got up there and said that, and i think what we're seeing in the big picture here is the president welcoming meddling of the russians in here. bringing in outside people to troy to impugn the reputation of the united states and shove aside the career patriots of our country that our advice is not being listened to. in the end it's going to come out what happened. they need to stop the show "wizard of oz" look over here and start getting serious about what happened and recognizing there is going to be huge fallout for that. the president may or may not get impeached or convicted in the senate, but this is real and it starts tomorrow and they need to stop the obviofuscation. the president is very powerful but not all-powerful.
he will not be able to stop the truth from coming out. >> ian and nancy, thank you both. joining me now for more on what we learned today, robert costa, "washington post" political reporter and michelle goldberg, op-ed columnist at "new york times" and msnbc contributor. i've just gotten word that the house rules committee passed the resolution which will now go to the floor. ezra klein was describing an interview he once did with nancy pelosi. he was asking there the theory of the speaker. she said you wait until you have the votes, she clenched her fist, and then you take the vote. we're basically seeing that theory in action. >> yeah, they certainly have it. it's amazing how many kind of things keep happening in their favor day by day, right? just, you know, very recently john bolton's lawyer said that he won't testify without a subpoena. which basically means he will testify. because what they've been doing to all of these people who have been testifying is giving them a subpoena as sort of, you know, justification for them defying the white house.
>> right. >> right? so that's kind of an astonishing thing that john bolton is willing to -- >> it looks like, yes. >> if john bolton ends up breaking with this administration and testifying before, you know, nancy pelosi's impeachment inquiry, that's a -- that's a huge blow. >> robert, you've been doing great reporting up on the hill with a great piece the other day about sort of senate republicans. i just get the sense the president -- the president hasn't taken a particular line. i think if you gave him truth serum his line would be, it's fine, i can do whatever i want. do house republicans have clarity about what their argument is here? >> they do have clarity, but they have immense challenges in front of them, chris. talking to house republicans tonight, they believe speaker pelosi has been so strategic in taking this away from the judiciary committee where republicans were ready to defend the president, some of his top allies, and moving the process to the intelligence committee and bringing the investigation behind closed doors, building the case, then bringing it eventually to the public with more testimony.
this s. has left many republicans in the house and the senate feeling like their hands are tied behind their back because they're not intimately involved in the day-to-day deliberations and they're not having a chance to challenge a lot of these witnesses and they're not even sure what is coming out because the white house isn't giving clear guidance. >> that has been fascinating. from a strategic standpoint, this has been brilliant in how they've handled the deposition. it's clear from the sondland attack pieces. the president very clear no quid pro quo after talking to the president that donald trump seems to think unless he said the words quid pro quo, unless there was explicitly a this for that that he's in the clear. then you have more and more people saying there was a quid pro quo. vindland yesterday testifying this. he said the $400 in million -- on ukrainian officials carrying out investigations, burisma, the bidens, the 2020 election and crowdstrike.
>> even sondland now says there was a quid pro quo and that when he said there was no quid pro quo he was relaying trump's words but didn't actually have any knowledge of whether there was or not. i don't want to get into kind of donald trump's, you know, theory of mind, right? because -- but i do think that he probably believes some of this stuff. right? which does give him in his own mind a justification. >> yeah, the crowdstrike stuff -- >> he still thinks not only is there a physical server, but it really is locked away somewhere in kiev. to me the interesting thing that's come out in the last couple of days is that donald trump is emerging as both, you know, the kind of criminal and the mark. >> yes. >> the that he's been, you know, he's obviously tried to corrupt this whole process. he also has people whispering in his ear and we don't quite know where they come from. we don't know who bob livingston is working for. there was a story in politico about a guy on the national security council that trump thought was the head of ukraine
-- trump thought was his ukraine expert. was really someone who used to work for devin nunes and telling him all this stuff. i was in ukraine recently. there are a lot of russian-aligned interests who have their own reasons for -- >> manipulating. >> yes. >> that is part of the story, who was manipulating whom. it strikes me, robert, the republicans are going to be bound by the president himself in their defenses, right? there are certain defenses that republicans can marshall that will be effective political but will enrage the president, one of them that he was too dumb. there was a headline today he wants you to know he's smart and capable enough to do a quid pro quo. the other is that it was wrong but not impeachable. how do you think the president's views on his own defenses will impact what arguments republicans feel they can make? >> the more i talk to republicans in the senate and the house, the more it's clear to me as a reporter that they're preparing to be in survival mode in 2020. not necessarily in defend president trump mode.
>> that's interesting. >> because they look at the facts and they're not ready to defend the president on the facts because they don't have a complete picture of what his conduct was in the summer of 2019 and even before that. so now they're talking about can they frame the process as partisan, talk about the process as something that's a little bit too much and then essentially retreat into bunker mode politically, argue about the process but avoid talking about the facts. >> that strikes me -- that's a great elucidation of why they've been focused on the process. at a certain point we're going to have a vote on the floor tomorrow and there's going to be a public hearing about the facts. the facts are tough to defend. the president can defend them because he thinks these essentially beyond good and evil. to coin a phrase. we'll find out. thank you both. still ahead, for only the fourth time in american history, congress is preparing for an impeachment inquiry of a sitting united states president. what just happened in the rules committee that just voted moments ago and what we can expect moving forward with a member of house leadership. in two minutes.
this is a sad day. when our founders drafted the constitution more than 230 years ago, they included a process that could lead to removing a president from office if he or she abused their power. that process, impeachment, is rarely used because of its seriousness. in fact, this will be only the fourth time in our nation's history that congress has considered the presidential impeachment process. this congress with our existing authority upped the constitution and the rules of the house is in the midst of an impeachment inquiry right now. no one runs for congress to impeach a president, but we are here today because the facts compel us to be. >> as you just heard for the fourth time in the country's history, the house of representatives is moving forward with impeachment proceedings into a sitting president. house rules committee just wrapped up voting on the impeachment resolution. it was a 9-4 party line vote during which house democrats rejected more than a dozen republican amendments to the
resolution. the resolution now moves to the house floor tomorrow. >> i don't know whether president trump will be impeached. only the facts and how we respond to them will dictate that. but i can tell you this, this process determining whether he should be impeached will be open to the public view, just as it should be. >> joining me now to talk about what that's going to look like, congressman david cicilline, democrat from rhode island, a member of the house judiciary committee, which is in charge of advancing articles of impeachment. congressman, the resolution has passed out of the rules committee. what does that mean and what happens next? >> well, what happens next is that resolution will be brought to the floor tomorrow and assuming it is approved, which i expect it will be, it sets forth the procedures for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry. the public hearing phase. it authorizes the intelligence committee and the other committees of jurisdiction to complete their work. it allows them to transfer to the judiciary committee a report and recommendations if they find
evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors. and then it sets forth procedures in the judiciary committee for the consideration of articles of impeachment that are very expansive for the president. >> public hearings. "a," is there a timeline and, "b," is there a committee of jurisdiction on those? can we expect this all to flow through the judiciary committee vis-a-vis public hearings or can we imagine other committees like intelligence have public hearings? >> well, i think you should expect the intelligence committee will continue to have the intelligence focus of this inquiry. that is the ukraine scandal. this has been under way by the intelligence committee in consultation with the foreign affairs and oversight committee. i expect at the conclusion of those hearings -- >> i see. >> -- they'll then make a report and recommendation to the judiciary committee and the judiciary committee then will have to consider whether or not to move forward on articles of impeachment. i would just say chairman mcgovern's remarks really do capture the center of the caucus.
this is a really serious moment. i think no one is delighted in doing this. the facts have required to us move forward in this fashion and i think everyone is approaching it in a serious way. >> talk me through how you and your colleagueses are thinking about minority rights in this process. the house is a majoritarian institution. the speaker calls the shots. you guys make the rules. it is also the case you have colleagues and you'll some day be on the other side of this. you've been in the minority. you will be again probably. what do you view as their role and what they're entitled to in this process? >> well, i mean, i think everyone is committed to ensuring that this process is fair, that the minority and the president have an opportunity to make their case to present evidence, to present arguments, to cross examine witnesses. so if you look through the resolution, we've actually afforded the minority much greater rights than existed in the clinton and nixon impeachments and we're doing that because we want to make sure that the process is fair, that the president will have an
opportunity to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses to his counsel to attend the hearings in the judiciary committee. to make a closing argument. so there are substantial rights which don't really have to be afforded at this stage. they're traditionally afforded at the trial stage in the senate, but i think what we're trying to do by this resolution is afford greater rights to be the president because we want to make sure the american people see this process as transparent and fair and that the president and his republican allies had an opportunity to make their case. i think the evidence that is being collected in this inquiry is significant and we want the president to have an opportunity to respond to it. >> there's a schedule for testimony behind closed doors in private depositions for the intelligence committee i think now through november 7th if i'm not mistaken. do you have any sense of what the timeline is should this resolution be passed tomorrow? which knowing speaker pelosi, i have to imagine you have the votes. >> well, we have a very robust schedule for continuing to have a number of depositions for the
next several weeks, or at least the next two weeks. obviously the chairman of the intelligence committee in consultation with the foreign affairs and oversight committee will make a final determination as to when that work is complete. we learn new things every day so i think we want to be sure we are carefully collecting all of the evidence in this case so that we can present to the committee of jurisdiction a complete picture. but everyone recognizes that it's important we move forward expeditiously, but we want to do it if a very thorough way. we want to make sure we're collecting all the evidence. i've been in those depositions and you learn new things every day that seem to warrant bringing another witness or seeking some additional documents. you know, at some point we'll have to come to the conclusion that we have sufficient evidence to move forward and the committees will make their recommendations to the judiciary committee. >> all right. congressman david cicilline, thanks for making time tonight. >> my pleasure. next, congress finally calls a dangerous new witness for president trump. new reporting on what former national security adviser john
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john bolton, trump's former national security adviser, is perhaps notoriously one of the most brutal and ruthless bureaucratic knife fighters in and around government. his time as national security adviser was short and contentious. he ended up getting humiliating turfed out as generally happens for anyone who works for president trump. in a new piece in "the washington post," craig miller points to a july 10th meeting with bolton and ukrainian officials as the moment of detonation of the ukraine crisis inside the white house. quote, two ukrainian officials were ushered into a meeting along with sondland, volker, hill and others to reviving specific investigations that were important to trump according to testimony from hill
and vindman. bolton was so alarmed by the exchange he ended the meeting abruptly and ordered those gathered out of his office. bolton could be a very dangerous witness against the president. for more on those fateful white house meetings i'm joined by the author of that report, craig miller, national correspondent for "the washington post." the picture you describe in the testimony is really remarkable. what is your understanding of how important this meeting was in the progression of what is now an impeachment-level scandal? >> you know, i think it's a really important moment and that's why we thought it was important to separate this out and write a whole story, sort of reconstructing this day at the white house. it's important to me for a couple reasons, chris, including that i think this is the moment that you can really -- we can establish so far that the quid pro quo of this scheme is articulated inside the white house. and not only that, but you have a very violent reaction to that
articulation inside the white house. it's not just bolton who recoils at the mention of this by sondland, but fiona hill and others who then proceed to go to white house lawyers to register their really deep concerns with this. i mean, this is -- people have described this moment as a moment when bolton goes ballistic. it's when he uses that infamous line now, comparing this whole endeavor to a drug deal. >> and bolton -- what's key here also is not just what happens on the call. this is before the call by 15 days. >> yeah. >> sondland articulating inside the walls of the white house to ukrainian officials that you don't get this stuff unless you do the investigations. that's the first trip wire going to lawyers saying something is wrong here. >> yeah, these are white house officials, including bolton, who have been really -- their anxiety has been growing for months because they've seen rudy giuliani on television shows and
saying what he's saying, spinning conspiracy theories about ukraine. they know the u.s. ambassador to ukraine was mysteriously removed. abruptly removed. but this is the sort of moment of reckoning for them when it all sort of is laid out explicitly in front of them. >> so this all builds up to bolton, right? fiona hill has come forward and she gave testimony in defines of the white house telling her not to, even though she's a former, she's left. i mean, bolton seems like the most high-profile, the most key and in some ways probably the most dangerous witness for the president. his lawyer tonight saying that he is not willing to appear voluntarily but he stands ready at all times to accept service of a subpoena on his half. do you read that to say i will come if you subpoena me? >> i don't quite get there with his language from his lawyer. stands ready for the service of subpoena. i mean, bolton and his deputy, carles cupperman, are engaged in
an interesting side legal battle here that seems like it's sort of complicated, but seeps like it's designed to sort out which legal authority should prevail here and whether they should be compelled to go and testify before congress. >> what is your reporting indicate about bolton's current relationship with president trump? >> i mean, we know that it ended terribly. we know that bolton is sort of forced out, deeply angry about the sort of things that he couldn't accomplish policy wise in the white house. he tries to establish that he is not being fired even though trump is asserting that he was and you basically saw mike pompeo and others practically giddy -- >> yes. >> at his departure. >> famously. >> you know, on that day. so, i mean, there can't be warm feelings between john bolton and that white house crew right now. >> greg miller, thank you very much for joining us tonight. ahead, why even senate republicans are balking at the president's scheme to install an
thing one tonight, the white house chief of staff is one of the most powerful jobs in the world. they may not have monuments built to them but you've heard their names. they've been there at the side of presidents through crucial moments throughout history. chief of staff andy card was the person who informed george w.
bush that they were under attack on 9/11. here is ronald reagan's chief of staff donald riegen as the "challenger" disaster up folds. h.r. haldeman was there in paris. he later went to jail for his boss. kenny o'donnell never officially had the title but was right there with jfk during the cuban missile crisis. so throughout the decades the chief of staff has been the man closest to the president at all times. these days not so much. trump's got mick mulvaney, the acting chief of staff with two full-time jobs and a pocket full of shamrocks. mulvaney is basically just treated like a chump by the president. >> at some point i hope they get it because it's a -- it's a fantastic financial statement. it's a fantastic financial statement. and let's do that over. he's coughing in the middle of my answer.
chief of staff, as we said, it right there with the biggest -- with the president at all the biggest moments of history. who can forget the iconic photo of president obama and his team in situation room the night they took out bin laden? you see chief of staff den miss mcdonough right there front and center. this photo being compared to a new one, also in the situation room as president trump and his team monitor developments in the baghdadi raid. trump's acting chief of staff mulvaney can't be seen in this photo unless you zoom out pretty significantly. nope, keep going. keep going. all right. a little more. a little more. and there he is. it looks like he's in myrtle beach. nbc news reporting today that the night of the raid mick
mulvaney was in fact in south carolina. he had gone to his home state for the weekend and was not notified about the raid until it was already happening. left out of the whole thing. i'm sure this has been very embarrassing for mulvaney, but i'm sure nobody wanted to jeopardize the mission with a guy in the room distracting everybody. >> they're after my financial statement, the senate. they'd like to get my financial statement. at some point i hope they get it. >> are you going to turn it over? >> at some point -- i might. at some point i hope they get it because it's a fantastic financial statement. it's a fantastic financial statement. and -- let's do that over. he's coughing in the middle of my answer. >> yeah, okay. >> i don't like that. >> your chief of staff. >> if you're going to cough, please leave the room. >> i'll come over here. >> you just can't do it -- >> sorry, mr. trump. >> yes, i'm supportive of donald trump. i'm doing so as enthusiastically as i can, even though i think he's a terrible human being.
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>> your chief of staff. >> your chief of staff. donald trump is now in the market for his fifth secretary of homeland security. john kelly was the first one. elaine duke served briefly as acting. kirsten nielsen. most recently kevin mcaleenan, not confirmed. donald trump announced his resignation on a friday night nearly three weeks ago. some reporting seemed to think that the president didn't think
kevin mcaleenan was tough enough. now the president is looking for a presumably crueller and more lawless homeland security secretary. the reported front-runners who both work at dhs in acting positions seem to be in trouble. one of them is a guy named ken cuccinelli. you may remember him over the summer as the guy who suggested a rewrite to the poem inside the statue of liberty. give me your tired and poor who can stand on their own two feet and will not become a public charge. doesn't have the same ring. here he what today at a house committee hearing. >> don't want anyone who looks or talks differently than caucasian americans to be allowed into this country. >> that's false. >> i'm sorry. please don't interrupt me, and i'd like the time added back. >> that's defamatory. >> there is nothing defamatory about it. >> the gentlelady controls the time and the witness will get a chance to respond. >> thank you very much. you want to block immigration and make life harder for all immigrants and you -- making
critically ill children your collateral damage in the process. >> after declaring that i am not a white supremacist, as you alluded -- nor is the president. >> okay. facts matter. >> well, ken cuccinelli has even rubbed his own party the wrong way. so much so even with republicans in control of the senate, reporting indicates he probably would not get confirmed. they're bearing a grudge from some past political actions he took. so now the white house is trying to explore a loophole to let donald trump put whoever he pleases in that position. the way they plan on doing that is appointing that person to a completely unrelated position and moving that person into the dhs job. that is how they plan on getting a trump, a crueller homeland security secretary. it is unclear if it will work. trump keeps going through dhs secretaries, though, because the real person pulling the administration on immigration policy is white house senior policy adviser stephen miller. we'll talk about him and what he was wrought next. whether you're out here on lte.
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the end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned. >> that was stephen miller, senior white house policy adviser, back in february 2017 making the case that donald trump's immigration policy, specifically his muslim ban, which they had to withdraw because it was unlawful, shall not be questioned. that is very much on brand for him. stephen miller is i guess you could politely say is a hart liner who is single-handedly worked to draft a draconian immigration policy. and where you're seeing the damage of his ceaseless meddling firsthand and the policies being carried out. cnn reporting we are on track to admit zero refugees in the month of october. not one. that comes as the migration picture is ever -- more dire than ever. "new york times" reporting the
detention of children trying to cross the southwest border is now at a record high. here with me now, nbc national security and justice reporter julia ainsley who has broken a number of immigration stories. democratic congresswoman of washington, herself an immigrant and former immigrant rights activist. julia, let me start with you just on that final note. my understanding is this uptick in unaccompanied minors who are being an hended and put into detention is because of the, quote, remain in mexico policy. there are tens of thousands of essentially stranded asylum seekers in mexico getting so desperate they're sending their kids. is that's what's happening? >> yeah, that's right. there are stories that the children weren't sure where their parents had gone and had to abandon ship in order to get into the united states. i'll point things out, in mexico an unaccompanied child is actually seen as a fast track for deportation. there are laws there to protect children from being trafficked mean that any time they see an unaccompanied child they have a very small chance of getting
asylum and a much larger chance of being deported back to their home country. they have to try to get into the united states as quickly as possible. things are very dangerous for them. we saw this happening the same time last year in tijuana. now you have this on a wholescale level. people in different parts along the border are being sent back into mexico where they face what looks like refugee camps and incredibly unsafe conditions. a lot of times they're targeted. these are not towns that were set up to really provide any kind of safe harbor. in fact, the whole point of the policy, chris, and this gets into stephen miller's strategy was to make it so arduous for anyone to claim asylum that they would give up on their cases while waiting there. now you have children who are fleeing from their families just to troy y to get into the unite states and have a chance at life. >> congresswoman, one immigration lawyer told me that stephen miller and president trump has effectively destroyed
the statutory basis for asylum. that this is enshrined in american law and using the return to mexico policy the way they implemented metering, it essentially no longer exists at the southern border. is that an accurate characterization? >> well, it's true that's what they're trying to do. some of those cases are still held up in court because we do have statutory right to asylum both in our domestic laws but also our human rights treaties that we are signal to. julie is right, what they are trying to do is discourage people over and over again in more and more draconian ways. first they tried it with family separation. they were actually separating children from their mothers and fathers. you covered that. a lot of people covered that. that is still going on but in different ways. then they tried saying we're going to put a ban on asylum. the court said, no, you can't do that. they have cut refugees admissions from 18,000, by the way, from 110,000.
they are effectively trying to eliminate every legal way that people have to seek refuge in the united states. >> i want to follow up on that and come back to you, julia. there are two ways to come in if you're fleeing oppression or tyranny. you can declare yourself an asylum seeker. they say, no, that's chaotic. you can't do that. you can do it through the refugee process which is very well-vetted, extremely orderly, you apply from abroad. they have essentially squeezed that off. what does that tell you they have gone after both of those? >> congresswoman? >> okay. so what they literally have had in mind, and this is stephen miller's longtime plan, is to cut legal immigration to zero. and so they have, you know, they have tried to take away family migration. they have obviously started deporting people that are in the united states using terrible programs like secure communities and other ways that you can increase enforcement of people across the country and kick them
out, and then at the border they've stopped in every way possible -- i was in those courts, those mpp courts. they're called migrant protection protocol, which is a complete misnomer because there is really no due process. there is no protection. these people are being bussed over from mexico and then they're ending refugee. so their goal is to stop even legal immigration -- >> right. >> into the united states. >> julia, quickly, dhs just seems completely dysfunctional at this moment. what happens to this agency next? >> so, good question. i mean, we've looked at who the president could possibly appoint, and katy tur and i reported last week one of the people being looked at even as an interim was chad wolff, one of the people who proposed the logistical ways they could separate families. he's not seen as hard enough, chris. so right now the president is not only looking at who aligns with stephen miller, but who will go on tv and to defend his
policies. someone a lot like ken cuccinelli, but for all the reasons you laid out, ken cuccinelli does not seem confirmable. so we'll see now if the president wants to walk around all of the rules that are normally in place for federal vacancies to try to get who he wants in place. i'll tell you, from people i speak to, it's already been chaotic. they have policies that are enacted through a tweet before they actually get a memo on how to implement it. and courts are holding things up every day. they have to figure out how they're going to carry out these policies. not having someone either confirmed or even in an acting position is hard for them. >> yulia ainsley and congresswoman, thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight, it's the eve of the vote in the house to go on record to lay out the map that results likely in articles of impeachment. in that same capital again today, more witnesses, more testimony about a shadow foreign policy. apparently run by a former new
york city mayor in support of the president's darkest suspicions about ukraine. now a big sought-after name has been invited to testify. with each name that comes forward, many of them career public servants who feel compelled to tell the truth. publ compelled to tell the truth. tough for the president's party. and this day in the life of californians in the fire zone. no power, no school, no home to return to. no telling how far an ember will carry. tonight it meant fire swirling around the library and gravesite of a former president. all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a wednesday evening. well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 1,014 of this trump administration. another day of nearly hourly developments in the impeachment inquiry including more testimony,ndhe